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Key telecom industry players join forces to speed up the introduction of interoperable rich communication services


Espoo, Finland - Today, a group of key operators, infrastructure and device vendors comprised of Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, TeliaSonera, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung, announced a joint effort to facilitate the evolution of mobile communication towards rich communication.

Together the participants have agreed upon a set of features originating from profiled IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) standards as well as implementation guidelines with the intention of having interoperable rich communication services available in 2008.

Consumers are now experiencing the power and the promise of converged and rich communication such as instant messaging, video sharing and buddy lists, which have introduced a new user experience.

Consumers expect that these capabilities are available on any type of devices and that there is open communication between devices and networks. With the Rich Communication Suite (RCS) these customer expectations can be fulfilled, and ever evolving services can be offered to enhance users’ experience. The core feature set of RCS includes the following services:

- Enhanced Phonebook, with service capabilities and presence enhanced contacts information

- Enhanced Messaging, which enables a large variety of messaging options including chat and messaging history

- Enriched Call, which enables multimedia content sharing during a voice call

The RCS Initiative is the joint effort of leading industry players to speed up and facilitate the adoption of applications and services that provide an interoperable, convergent, rich communication experience.

Orange: “This initiative is key to develop new communication experience in the mobile space. In this market, the user experience has never been more important. Orange is convinced that ’RCS initiative’, driving interoperability between operators and vendors will contribute significantly to this above trend and finally ensure the success of enriched communication services”, said Marc Fossier, CTO of France Telecom/Orange

Telecom Italia: “Enriched communications is a promising evolution, Telecom Italia supports the RCS Initiative as service interoperability and devices are key for turning IMS based communications into a market opportunity” said Luca Luciani, Telecom Italia General Manager of Domestic Mobile Services.

Telefónica: “RCS initiative brings together to be customer focused and interoperable, requirements needed for the mobile operators to successfully market a new generation of IMS- based services . Therefore, it is a major opportunity to keep leading the relationship with end customers in the IP environment”, says Cayetano Lluch, Telefónica España General Manager for Technology and Services Development.

TeliaSonera: It will be exciting to offer our customers services that improve their mobile experience such as enhanced phone book. It makes the communication so much easier. To ensure the interoperability and encourage the wide use of rich communication services the co-operation with other leading parties in the mobile business is very important and brings the services faster to our customers, says Claes Nycander, Head of Common Development and Vice President, TeliaSonera Mobility Services.

Nokia: “With strategic focus on consumer internet services, Nokia is reaching out to its unsurpassed global consumer base for the next wave of internet and convergence driven growth that is set to transform Nokia and the industry. Core communication services, voice and messaging, remain to be an important part of our device offering and Rich Communication Suite initiative enables the industry to enrich and evolve these while ensuring the service interoperability that consumers expect”, says Urpo Karjalainen, SVP, Operator Sales, Nokia.

Samsung: Dr. Dohun Kwon, Managing Director of Samsung Europe Research Institute (SERI, UK), said: “We are pleased to join the Rich Communication Suite Initiative to contribute to the development and commercialization of RCS features. Samsung will work actively with all participating parties to deliver new and seamless communication experience to the consumers on the converged device.”

Sony Ericsson: “The RCS project is an important step forward to obtain a richer consumer communicating experience”, says Mats Lindoff, CTO at Sony Ericsson which further stresses that “We see open environment like Java as an important enabler to facilitate innovation and faster application development.”

Ericsson: Jörgen Lantto, Vice President, Portfolio Management and Technology, Business Unit Multimedia says that “This initiative is an important step to improve user experience, making it easier to communicate in a richer way. With the experience we have from supporting operators launch IMS services we see that RCS will play an important role in introducing new attractive services in an interoperable environment.”

Nokia Siemens Networks: “IMS is a pivotal technology for advancing communications to a new and enriched level of converged multimedia services,” says Michael Clever, head of Next Generation Voice and Multimedia, Nokia Siemens Networks. “The RCS initiative is the catalyst to help IMS take-off with cross-network interoperability from Day One. As part of this forum, we are accelerating IMS and SIP development so consumers can enjoy a completely different communication experience faster.”

To speed up the introduction of rich communication services, the participants in the RCS Initiative has already:

- Defined a core feature set, leveraging existing standards, and implementation guideline specifications for an interoperable IMS-based communication suite. The IMS is an important architecture for fixed and mobile networks that bring these capabilities to the consumer in an interoperable way.

- Developed reference implementations of the services for commercial devices, and validated the underlying requirements and technical specifications for service interoperability

- Conducted interoperability testing in multi-vendor environments to ensure and verify the maturity of the RCS feature set

To ensure services availability in 2008, the RCS Initiative will continue to drive testing and interoperability in a multi-operator environment, as well as sharing the RCS specifications with relevant industry forums.

RCS showcase in Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

The RCS Initiative will present early results of these efforts in a showcase including a presentation and a live demonstration of the initial feature set.

RCS Initiative presents the showcase at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, in the seminar theater in Hall 7 on Feb 11 at 13-14 hours and Feb 13 at 12-13 hours.


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